**spoiler alert** OMG. I love this story very much.
There's a lot to love about The Clockwork Menagerie. For one, while short and sweet, the world tha**spoiler alert** OMG. I love this story very much.
There's a lot to love about The Clockwork Menagerie. For one, while short and sweet, the world that the author created is vivid in my head: historical and yet modern because of the advanced technology used to make mechanical animals which I find unique and beautiful.
The main character Clement Dyers is one of those who eked out a living by making life-like mechanical animals. Unfortunately he is dealing with many issues all at once: business problems, his former lover, and his stark future.
Secondly, every character and scene in this story has a purpose and as with the setting, the three main characters are well-written. Lastly, the love interest Duke Goodwin made me feel "kilig." Nothing like a persistent guy trying to say sorry and make it up to Clement in his own special way to sweep not only Clement off his feet but also its readers.
Five stars to The Clockwork Menagerie by Elliot Cooper. Here's to hoping we read more of them and more of this universe.
Thank you to NineStar Press for giving me a free copy in exchange of an honest review. ...more
**spoiler alert** The Hometown Hazard by Dawn Lanuza is a fun read. :) I enjoyed Kip's and Jules's adventure as they tried to unravel the mystery in t**spoiler alert** The Hometown Hazard by Dawn Lanuza is a fun read. :) I enjoyed Kip's and Jules's adventure as they tried to unravel the mystery in their parents' joint business.
Kip is everything Jules is not. He is brash, daring, spontaneous. And did I mention he's such a looker, too? ^_^ Kip doesn't have plans, he loves winging it. Jules, on the other hand, can't live without it. The two clearly are at opposite poles when it comes to so many things and yet their chemistry sizzles.
But more than that, I loved reading about their adventure. I could literally feel the pound of Jules's heart because of what Kip's been doing. He literally is The Hometown Hazard (Love the title, btw, and the cover of the book) and Jules was right to worry about him from the get go.
With The Hometown Hazard, it's the adventure, the journey of the two characters that you'll love. How they got to know each other and how they are together. The twist of the story as well, albeit heartbreaking.
Five stars for The Hometown Hazard. I'm definitely going to read more books from Dawn Lanuza. <3
**spoiler alert** Marie Claire Lim Moore, a Filipina-Canadian-American author of Don’t Forget the Soap (And Other Reminders from My Fabulous Filipina**spoiler alert** Marie Claire Lim Moore, a Filipina-Canadian-American author of Don’t Forget the Soap (And Other Reminders from My Fabulous Filipina Mother) is back with her new book titled Don’t Forget the Parsley (And More from My Positively Filipino Family).
Both books talk about Claire and her family's inspiring stories and fond memories they created together as their family embark on their own version of this journey called life.
There are plenty of reasons why I love this book. One, it is packed with life lessons. Two, it is entertaining. Three, its tone—witty and sincere—is aligned with what the book is trying to impart and that is when readers knew the stories in the book are genuine. Four, it showcases a lot of values: resilience, creativity, ingenuity, always being thankful, religious, friendly, always happy, humility, helpful, diligence, conservative, respectful (made me wonder if Claire and Justin practice pagmamano or if they're fluent in Tagalog), accommodating, how Claire's mom searches for a silver lining in every cloud, and most of all: love for family and friends.
Okay so there is probably a lot more but I just learned from Claire's mom that if we spend so much time agonizing over something trying to make it perfect we'll never be able to finish it. Lol. :) Word of the wise. Obviously that part of the book is one of my favorites. I'm writing my memoir as well and I've rewritten it three times. By the time I was on the third version I have no idea whether I was crying due to my exasperation at my inability to finish the book or because I am still heartbroken over the people I loved and lost. So I'm thankful for that advice and I'll try to live by that from now on because it is essential to me that I finish my books.
Anyway, I also loved the story of how Claire's parents met and how her dad had to make up some non-existent party just so they'd get to see each other again (the next day and then the day after that). Lol. I found that part endearing although I had mixed reactions upon reading that Claire's mom had to ask permission from her aunt in order to attend said party (In the end, Tita Lenore was given the approval but she had to go with her brother). I mean she was twenty six so a part of me was amazed while the other part was exasperated (Don't get me wrong; in the end I do know asking for permission is a form of respect, too; and in some ways we're merely informing our elders that we need to go someplace else).
I shouldn't have been surprised though, that's how it is with our culture: the elders will always be protective of their young ones. No sleepovers (my niece's friends can come sleepover at our house but not her, never her); we have curfews even when we are over thirty; no "camping" (my nephew wanted to go "camping" but my sister-in-law Ate Thess refused. This was a huge deal because my nephew wanted to go but Ate Thess was adamant about her decision. I already lost your dad; I can't lose you, too, she reasoned. At the time, my brother-in-law Kuya Jojo just died.
No one can argue with her after that. But I mean, for all the violent reactions you would think we were sending my nephew to Mindanao. But the "camping" in question was just an overnight stay at school with his classmates, supervised by their teachers (I think Rad was in junior or senior year, I forgot. That seemed a lifetime away now), even I did that when I was seven during star scout and my maternal grandma had her own issues (I wasn't allowed to leave the house unless it's for school, church, or an errand (this I understood) but my teachers were informed beforehand I wasn't to be sent out of town for quiz contests (this one I didn't get. Then again, my grandma lost four of her seven children including my mom so maybe that had something to do with this.)]
Don’t Forget the Parsley (And More from My Positively Filipino Family) made me ponder over some things. How much is too much for example. At which point do we loosen or let go of our protective hold over our kids?
Now that Ate Thess is dead and her kids are turning to me and my husband for our permission and advice, it's so easy to tighten that hold and say no. The first time Rad asked us to sign a waiver for his school trip, he told us: I don't want to ask grandma and grandpa to sign this. You know what they'll say.
I did know. They already permitted him to go but if they had to sign something they might change their mind.
But then when I was already reading the document, I suddenly found myself feeling horrified. It was a field trip liability waiver. Meaning that we cannot hold the school liable should there be any untoward accident. I knew about this and I had known beforehand what it would say. It was a standard document signed by parents every day (but then put that way, if it's so unimportant why make the parents sign it?) but I must admit that made me pause and think but goodness, he was just going to participate to a contest in Makati (their school is in Pasay, for goodness' sake. It was only an hour away from there!). It was not the end of the world.
Nothing is going to happen, I told myself and I am all for broadening one's horizon so I signed the blasted document with my eyes closed.
Needless to say I prayed hard after that. Lord, please always keep them safe.
Like me, until both his parents passed away he never got to do these things. Put that way though, I'd rather my grandparents and both Ate Thess and my brother-in-law Kuya Jojo were still alive. I wouldn't trade a trip to a Science or a writing conference someplace else for them and I'm sure my niece and nephew both felt the same but that's life for you.
At the same time I didn't want to be that ridiculous paranoid person who holds the kids back from realizing their full potential, no. So we say yes every goddamned time and I was even surprised when he recently turned down a student congress event in Davao. I would have wanted him to go but at the same time I didn't want to push. I want the kids to go out there and see the world. In fact when Rad was in his senior year I suggested to Mama that he apply for scholarships abroad. But if the camping didn't go so well, you can just imagine how that suggestion was received.
Anyway, my second favorite part of the book is about the smile/happy thing, that certainly made me laugh out loud. Filipinos are inherently happy and they try to smile even in the middle of a tragedy. Case in point, years ago I was walking toward the QA department when I met an officemate in the hallway. Condolence, she said, I heard your father just passed away. Touched, I smiled at her but then she was like, Why are you smiling? Your father just died! And I was like, Oh, but I can't say thank you in return. I lost someone therefore I can't thank you for offering me comfort so I smiled my appreciation instead. Did that make sense?
My third favorite part is the sex education thing. Tita Lulu responded in true Filipino fashion which had me laughing out loud. She's probably endangered species these days but yeah, any talk related to sex is considered taboo in Filipino culture. This has its pros and cons. Some Pinoys are so conservative they become nuns and priests while some end up with a dozen of kids because they have no idea there's such a thing as birth control; worse, HIV cases is on the rise.
There's a lot more that I like about this book such as the lesson in patience (no, you cannot write a book overnight, Jho, you need to sleep) or how Claire admitted she forgets the soap sometimes but I'm going to stop right here. Lol. I'll leave it to the other readers to find out for themselves why this book is worth their time.
Thank you for reading this review and thank you also to Claire and her family for sharing such wonderful anecdotes.
Happy Valentine's Day! :)
Note: I received a free copy of this book in return for an honest review. ...more
**spoiler alert** Short and sweet. I was surprised how fast of a read this was. I guess that's what happens when one is enjoying.
Cara's boyfriend Oliv**spoiler alert** Short and sweet. I was surprised how fast of a read this was. I guess that's what happens when one is enjoying.
Cara's boyfriend Oliver disappeared into obscurity and then in came Lucas Lobregat, high school crush and starring of Cara's youthful fantasies. And just when she already has this thing going with Lucas, Ollie reappears.
I love Cara and Lucas together, and I specially love the twist at the end, their "past."
Four stars for Blast From Two Pasts and it's definitely not the last book I'd be reading from Kristel Villar....more
**spoiler alert** Minsan Pa tells the story of Neena and Yuusuke and how their puppy love stood the test of time and bloomed into true love.
This book**spoiler alert** Minsan Pa tells the story of Neena and Yuusuke and how their puppy love stood the test of time and bloomed into true love.
This book showcases typical Filipino family - how they look out for each other - how much they love and how invested they get when it comes to relationships: be it with their mom, brother, sister, employee, or lover.
I also love how this book made me chuckle a few times. Loved Neena's guts and how she faced her enemies and stand up for heself. <3
Yuusuke, on the other hand, I thought at first he was a spoiled brat but in the end he came through.
Five stars for Minsan Pa. Looking forward to reading more of Jessica's works....more